Veto override vote fails

Written by Theresa Zubretsky on October 15, 2014

It looks like tobacco power walls in most Albany County chain pharmacies aren’t going away any time soon. Last night, the Albany County Legislature failed to override the County Executive’s veto of a local law to end tobacco sales in pharmacies.

The Albany County Courthouse was packed as Albany county residents, public health advocates, SUNY students, Albany College of Pharmacy students and others urged the Albany County Legislature to override the County Executive’s veto. Despite this demonstration of support, the Legislature voted 22-14 against the override.

Throughout the two years since Local Law D was introduced, public support has been unwavering. Twenty-seven people turned out in support of the law at the first public hearing held in April 2013 and many of those same people were present at last night’s vote. The law’s supporters came from many different perspectives, but all shared a unified conclusion—tobacco sales in pharmacies are bad for kids, bad for health, and bad for the community.

Several legislators at last night’s meeting spoke passionately about their interest in supporting policies that would reduce youth exposure to tobacco marketing and reduce tobacco use. We look forward to providing them with the information and resources they need to do just that.



Albany law to end pharmacy tobacco sales is still alive

Written by Theresa Zubretsky on October 7, 2014

Albany County Legislator Tim Nichols announced today that he intends to push to override County Executive McCoy’s veto of his proposed local law that would have ended the sale of tobacco products from pharmacies in Albany County. Nichols’ announcement includes statements of support from a variety of federal, state, and local public health organizations and advocates. Read his press release here.

The Albany County Legislature passed Local Law D by a vote of 21-17 in August. To override a veto the Legislature needs 24 votes. Since the Legislature only has 45 days to attempt an override, it is likely that the vote will take place at the next regularly scheduled county legislature meeting on October 14.

If you live in Albany County, let your legislator know what YOU think.

Local legislators are eager to hear from their constituents on issues that are important to them. If you live in Albany County, contact your local legislator with your view on this issue prior to October 14.Visit the Albany County Legislature website for contact information. If you’re not sure who your Legislator is, you can find out on the Board of Elections website.

You can also share your views on October 14 during the public comment period which begins at 6:30 pm in the

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A Citizen’s Guide to New York Tobacco Controls

Written by Theresa Zubretsky on September 30, 2014

Hot off the press is a new publication from the Center for Public Health and Tobacco Policy that serves as a centralized resource for information on current state and federal tobacco-related laws in New York State. A Citizen’s Guide to New York Tobacco Controls presents current federal and state legal constraints on tobacco products in New York, along with the entity responsible for enforcing each control. The controls are organized by issue, focusing on those most relevant and accessible to a typical tobacco control advocate or consumer.

Tobacco controls can be a confusing collection of federal, state and local laws, regulations, court orders, settlement agreements and more. These controls are issued and enforced by diverse federal, state and local entities. Private entities may enact and enforce their own tobacco controls. While the scope of this guide does not and cannot include the myriad local laws and private policies that exist in New York, it is a useful and comprehensive guide to state and federal law.

Organizations call for Albany County Legislature to override veto

Written by Theresa Zubretsky on September 25, 2014

Local Law D, passed by the Albany County Legislature in August and vetoed by County Executive Dan McCoy earlier this month, would have ended the sale of tobacco in pharmacies and stores that contain a pharmacy. The veto, however, isn’t necessarily the last word. The Albany County Legislature could choose to override. The American Lung Association of the Northeast and the New York State Public Health Association have made public their call to the Albany County Legislature to do just that. Read what they had to say in letters to the Times Union editor.

American Lung Association of the Northeast
New York State Public Health Association